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Arts

Bookworm

Updated 6 days ago

Arts
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Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

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Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

iTunes Ratings

333 Ratings
Average Ratings
239
37
23
17
17

The incomparable Silverblatt

By cookie11ru - Nov 01 2019
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I wonder if he had that voice as a child?

The Best

By FloydLQ - Sep 28 2018
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The greatest Silverblatt is the most insightful reader alive

iTunes Ratings

333 Ratings
Average Ratings
239
37
23
17
17

The incomparable Silverblatt

By cookie11ru - Nov 01 2019
Read more
I wonder if he had that voice as a child?

The Best

By FloydLQ - Sep 28 2018
Read more
The greatest Silverblatt is the most insightful reader alive

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Cover image of Bookworm

Bookworm

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

Harold Bloom: The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Podcast cover
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Harold Bloom passed away last week. An admired literary critic who endorsed the Western canon, a long-standing Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, his absence is a significant cultural loss. Bookworm pays him tribute with an archival interview conducted in his apartment to talk about his book, The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible. A discussion officially about the great King James translation of the Old and New Testaments. But when you talk with Harold Bloom, you talk about everything—politics, poetry, teaching, aging, reading and ultimately, respect.Harold Bloom The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Oct 24 2019

28mins

Play

Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

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Ocean Vuong speaks of leaving his thumbprint on his new novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Alternate modes of storytelling are discussed, as are narratives without intrinsic conflict. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who doesn’t read English; it is about finding joy in innovative and creative survival.

Jul 18 2019

28mins

Play

Benjamin Moser: Sontag: Her Life and Work

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Benjamin Moser talks about Susan Sontag‘s ideology: reading more books, going to more plays, traveling more, learning more, taking learning seriously, and taking culture seriously. Sontag: Her Life and Work is interested in the writing and ideas of Susan Sontag; attacking the philistines and treasuring knowledge.

Oct 17 2019

28mins

Play

Toni Morrison: Beloved

Podcast cover
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From the archives, a highly resonate conversation with Toni Morrison about transfiguring love, as portrayed in her novel Beloved. Although Beloved is set after the American Civil War, it deals with a serious modern problem: trying to love oneself and another human being at the same time; love under duress, and the consequences of distorted love. This episode followed the filmic adaptation of Beloved, but Morrison discusses the depths of a book that a film cannot touch.

Aug 15 2019

28mins

Play

Toni Morrison Tribute

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*Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison passed away this week at 88 years of age.  Bookworm is rebroadcasting a 2009 conversation with her about her novel, A Mercy.*

In this first of two conversations with Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, we explore the backgrounds of her novel, A Mercy (Knopf). How did she find the textures of pre-colonial America: the feel of the land; the wildlife; the proliferation of races, nationalities and ambitions? (Part II)

Aug 08 2019

28mins

Play

Salman Rushdie: Quichotte (Part One)

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Sam DuChamp is a second-rate spy novelist whom actual spies appreciate. He writes the journey of Quichotte, an elderly man who creates his son Sancho out of meteors and thin air. Quichotte is in love with Salma R, a celebrated television personality and opioid addict. Through his cousin Dr. Smile, Quichotte deals sublingual fentanyl to Salma R. And the world is ending. And Evel Cent has found a link between Earth and a neighbor Earth in a variant parallel universe. More than riffing on Don Quixote, Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte depicts the pleasures of fiction.

Oct 03 2019

28mins

Play

Sarah Rose Etter: The Book of X

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Sarah Rose Etter’s The Book of X belongs to a literary conversation about the grotesque and surreal. Shaped like a prose sculpture, her debut novel juxtaposes the surrealism of youth with the realities of capitalism; it is the story of being raised in a rural area, and disappearing into a city. Sarah Rose Etter discusses life as loose ends, not something tied up with a pretty bow, and creating a novel not in search of resolve, redemption, or everything becoming better. The Book of X has a fresh vision that makes it a strange book in strange times.

Aug 29 2019

28mins

Play

Katya Apekina: The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

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Katya Apekina’s The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish has a dark sense of humor, and an interest in the soul. A layered account of the truths of a torn family, two sisters depart from their broken mother and return to their literary father. The sisters fall apart from each other, one toward her mother and the other toward her father This impressive debut behaves like a great Russian novel transposed onto an American family. Katya Apekina discusses writing an emotional autobiography in a fictional story.

Sep 05 2019

28mins

Play

Laila Lalami: The Other Americans

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Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans is a polyphonic novel about social class and identity, with a revelation in every chapter. At the novel’s opening a Moroccan immigrant dies in a suspicious hit-and-run accident, connecting together the stories of nine characters, each with their own context, also connected by an internal sense of not being at the center of the American story. Core questions find answers from outside, alienated perspectives.

Jun 20 2019

28mins

Play

Lawrence Weschler: And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks

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An autobiographical memoir, romantic science, writerly nonfiction, rhapsodic nonfiction, the fiction of nonfiction—whatever one calls this we call this writing that matters. And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks by Lawrence Weschler is a book that can only be itself, like its legendarily kind, genius, and eccentric subject could only be himself. This book is a guide into Oliver Sacks’s realm of rapture. Lawrence Weschler discusses the fictive elements of nonfiction writing: structure, irony, voice, tone, the paradox of form and the paradox of freedom. 

Dec 05 2019

28mins

Play

Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Podcast cover
Read more

From the archives, Ocean Vuong speaks of leaving his thumbprint on his new novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Alternate modes of storytelling are discussed, as are narratives without intrinsic conflict. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who doesn’t read English; it is about finding joy in innovative and creative survival.

Nov 22 2019

28mins

Play

Lynda Barry: Making Comics

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Lynda Barry’s Making Comics is a how-to graphic novel guide for people who gave up on drawing. Lynda Barry says that everybody has an innate ability to draw, which most people abandon in their youth; comics are gestures of the human hand, and the act of writing is likened to the art of drawing. Making Comics explores the process of expanding the life of drawings, and fusing symbols for character building. A term is introduced for reimagining the happenings of one’s life: autobifictiontionalography.

Nov 21 2019

28mins

Play

Jeanette Winterson Frankissstein: A Love Story

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Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein: A Love Story is about time travel and body travel. It moves from writers scaring each other with stories on a night in 1816, into the present day, with Mary Shelley becoming trans doctor Dr. Ry, and Lord Byron becoming a manufacturer of sex bots, Ron Lord. Byron’s mistress, Mary’s stepsister, Clair, now evangelical Claire, first considers sexbots Satansim, then views them as ideal for clergies. And Victor Frankenstein is Victor Stein, studying AI in an underground city lab. Other lives and other situations in a new generation, the topic is the same as in Frankenstein: what does it mean to have a soul, and do humans always turn their dreams into nightmares? But this is not a scary book, it is a hugely comedic fantasia.

Nov 14 2019

28mins

Play

Lynda Barry and Chris Ware: Making Comics and Rusty Brown

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Lynda Barry and Chris Ware discuss the culture of comics, and their new books, Making Comics and Rusty Brown. Chris Ware mentions being inspired by Lynda Barry’s explosive improvisation. Lynda Barry remarks upon the biological function of art contributing to human survival. They each speak about writing to feel real and emotionally grounded, and channeling their voices to write life stories that take sadness seriously.

Nov 07 2019

28mins

Play

John Freeman and Robin Coste Lewis Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on California

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Editor John Freeman and contributor Robin Coste Lewis (Los Angeles poet laureate) speak about a reawakening in California, which is home to more than the movie industry these days. Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on California features Jeff Dyer, Karen Tei Yamashita, Rabih Alameddine, Tommy Orange, Manuel Muńoz, and more; Robin Coste Lewis reads her poem “Paramount.” Lewis says her poem is an homage to cinema, and the sacredness of drive-in theaters. Freeman’s journal is beautiful, angry, and funny.

Oct 31 2019

28mins

Play

Harold Bloom: The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Podcast cover
Read more

Harold Bloom passed away last week. An admired literary critic who endorsed the Western canon, a long-standing Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, his absence is a significant cultural loss. Bookworm pays him tribute with an archival interview conducted in his apartment to talk about his book, The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible. A discussion officially about the great King James translation of the Old and New Testaments. But when you talk with Harold Bloom, you talk about everything—politics, poetry, teaching, aging, reading and ultimately, respect.Harold Bloom The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Oct 24 2019

28mins

Play

Benjamin Moser: Sontag: Her Life and Work

Podcast cover
Read more

Benjamin Moser talks about Susan Sontag‘s ideology: reading more books, going to more plays, traveling more, learning more, taking learning seriously, and taking culture seriously. Sontag: Her Life and Work is interested in the writing and ideas of Susan Sontag; attacking the philistines and treasuring knowledge.

Oct 17 2019

28mins

Play

Salman Rushdie: Quichotte (Part Two)

Podcast cover
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In part two, Salman Rushdie discusses Quichotte as an idealist, and his materialized-son Sancho as a cynic. Rushdie's Quichotte is explored as a modern take on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, with the opera Don Quichotte by Jules Massenet a strong influence. Rushdie says the opera allowed him to feel unshackled from dependence upon a source material. Quichotte and Sancho encounter hostilities as brown men in America today. Things are so awful that citizens in one town transform into mastodons, as people transformed into rhinoceros in Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. And in Quichotte there is a cricket with a conscience, as in Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. Did not James Joyce absorb Homer’s The Odyssey in Ulysses? Rushdie speaks about stealing from the past, the art of creation, surprising yourself, and using fiction to approach truth through a multiplicity of doors.

Oct 10 2019

28mins

Play

Salman Rushdie: Quichotte (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

Sam DuChamp is a second-rate spy novelist whom actual spies appreciate. He writes the journey of Quichotte, an elderly man who creates his son Sancho out of meteors and thin air. Quichotte is in love with Salma R, a celebrated television personality and opioid addict. Through his cousin Dr. Smile, Quichotte deals sublingual fentanyl to Salma R. And the world is ending. And Evel Cent has found a link between Earth and a neighbor Earth in a variant parallel universe. More than riffing on Don Quixote, Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte depicts the pleasures of fiction.

Oct 03 2019

28mins

Play

Emma Donoghue: Akin

Podcast cover
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Noah, a retired chemistry professor and widower, plans a trip to his birthplace, Nice in the South of France, to investigate wartime photos he discovered his mother left behind. Though before his trip, to his surprise, social services obligate him to become the caretaker of Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew he has never met. So in Nice together, first Noah considers himself a person of privilege who can help an unfortunate child, then he finds himself being reminded about his own mortality, age defects, and the perspective-altering eyes of a child. Noah grows backwards to become a father, and Michael finds the family photo mystery fascinating. Akin‘s structure leads the reader through one surprise after another. Emma Donoghue’s quest is to understand the family—even if its mysteries are never solved.

Sep 26 2019

28mins

Play

Cathleen Schine: The Grammarians

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Language-loving twin sisters discover themselves united by passion but separated by needs in The Grammarians, the eleventh book by Cathleen Schine. Stuffed with language surprises, this comic novel about serious things portrays a literary war: order and dignity versus freedom and experimentation. One sister, Daphne, a copy editor and grammar columnist, devotes herself to Standard English; the other sister, Laurel, gives up teaching kindergarten to write polymorphous poetry. Their sisterly linguistic friction explores the issue of needing someone while wanting independence.

Sep 19 2019

28mins

Play

Mary Ruefle: Dunce

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Mary Ruefle discusses meaning, experience, and significance within poetry. She says meaning is everywhere. And she says in her old age she is becoming a child again. Her Dunce poetry is a joy and revelation. Mary Ruefle reads the title poem, “Vow of Extinction,” “Tuna and a Play,” “Lorraine,” “How We Met,” “The Leaves,” and a haiku from her book’s end.

Sep 12 2019

28mins

Play

Katya Apekina: The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

Podcast cover
Read more

Katya Apekina’s The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish has a dark sense of humor, and an interest in the soul. A layered account of the truths of a torn family, two sisters depart from their broken mother and return to their literary father. The sisters fall apart from each other, one toward her mother and the other toward her father This impressive debut behaves like a great Russian novel transposed onto an American family. Katya Apekina discusses writing an emotional autobiography in a fictional story.

Sep 05 2019

28mins

Play

Sarah Rose Etter: The Book of X

Podcast cover
Read more

Sarah Rose Etter’s The Book of X belongs to a literary conversation about the grotesque and surreal. Shaped like a prose sculpture, her debut novel juxtaposes the surrealism of youth with the realities of capitalism; it is the story of being raised in a rural area, and disappearing into a city. Sarah Rose Etter discusses life as loose ends, not something tied up with a pretty bow, and creating a novel not in search of resolve, redemption, or everything becoming better. The Book of X has a fresh vision that makes it a strange book in strange times.

Aug 29 2019

28mins

Play

Peter Orner: Maggie Brown & Others

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Characters with DNA, blood and soul populate forty three stories and a novella by Peter Orner: Maggie Brown & Others. This book has stories without beginnings, middles, or ends--interlacing stories that never end--and a gallery of cross-generational characters who experience love and pain and the whole damn thing. Acknowledging the light while going into the dark, this unforgettable experimental writing redefines what a collection of short stories is.

Aug 22 2019

28mins

Play

Toni Morrison: Beloved

Podcast cover
Read more

From the archives, a highly resonate conversation with Toni Morrison about transfiguring love, as portrayed in her novel Beloved. Although Beloved is set after the American Civil War, it deals with a serious modern problem: trying to love oneself and another human being at the same time; love under duress, and the consequences of distorted love. This episode followed the filmic adaptation of Beloved, but Morrison discusses the depths of a book that a film cannot touch.

Aug 15 2019

28mins

Play

Toni Morrison Tribute

Podcast cover
Read more

*Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison passed away this week at 88 years of age.  Bookworm is rebroadcasting a 2009 conversation with her about her novel, A Mercy.*

In this first of two conversations with Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, we explore the backgrounds of her novel, A Mercy (Knopf). How did she find the textures of pre-colonial America: the feel of the land; the wildlife; the proliferation of races, nationalities and ambitions? (Part II)

Aug 08 2019

28mins

Play

Howard Rodman: The Great Eastern

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Literary legends Captain Ahab and Captain Nemo are pitted against each other by real life engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in Howard Rodman’s The Great Eastern. This adventure story informs and entertains the reader about the nineteenth century, amid exhilarating and mournful disasters. Howard Rodman discusses preferring the world in books to the world outside of books, hiding in delirious and delicious writing, and elevated pulp. 

Aug 01 2019

28mins

Play

Ariana Reines: A Sand Book

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The poetry in Ariana Reines A Sand Book is centered around the theme of hiding: running away and trying to escape. There is a chorus of sobbing in this book; its metaphysical concentration is related to wandering. Ariana Reines speaks of books that go beyond themselves and stay with the reader; she wrote one, and reads three poems from it.

Jul 19 2019

28mins

Play